Petr Cech is widely regarded as one of the premier goalkeepers in world soccer, so what exactly was it about this routine shot that puzzled him so?
In the 40th minute of Monday’s FA Cup semifinal matchup between powerhouses Chelsea and Manchester United, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez corralled a ball just past the midfield, ran toward the Chelsea goal and unleashed a low bouncing shot in Cech’s direction.
Though the ball never got more than three feet off the ground, Cech’s hesitant first reaction forced him to make a difficult corrective maneuver to stop the shot.
What resulted was a remarkable sideways bicycle-kick save that was equal parts impressive as it was unnecessary. If Cech had simply stood in place, he could’ve made the save without much worry.
Twenty minutes later, Cech reassured the Chelsea faithful of his Jedi-caliber focus after denying Chicharito a second time with a miraculous one-handed save that protected Chelsea’s 1-0 lead.
These are the kinds of saves that add those subtle streaks of gray to the remaining hairs on Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez‘s temporarily employed head.
Chelsea would go on to win the game and eliminate United from the FA Cup.
Check out the first of Cech’s two crazy saves in the video below.
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Photo via Twitter/@Chelsea_Gt